The Secret to Leading a Life of Your Dreams
At Energize Leadership we work with a lot of badass leaders. We notice those who shine most brightly and love their lives are those who consciously and actively lead all areas of their life. They are playing the game of life in a way that ensures they show up, play well, live well and live happy. That’s not to say they don’t have down moments or true struggles. But what they never do is sit on the sidelines, take the backseat, or get lazy about the next move.
Below are a few tricks of the trade we have noticed from the most successful people we work with.
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1. Connect with yourself first
When we are disconnected from ourselves – who we are, what we feel, what we need, and what makes us happy – we are unable to connect with others on a deep, genuine level. If we’re just going with the flow, it is hard to be in alignment and bring our best self to the table. Intentionally focusing on the experience you want to have and want to cultivate in different environments enables you to be the master of your experience and make the most of your moments as well as your relationships.
It important to develop a strong sense of self-awareness and take self-care seriously. Many of us simply give away too much of ourselves but we are not expendable. There is truly a finite amount we can give before there is nothing left. By being clear about your key drivers, values, strengths, and needs, you are able to show up as your best self.
2. Lead your life with purpose
Whether leaders are developing a strategic plan, setting financial goals, or lining up new projects, they are always setting expectations for themselves and others. So why should it stop at work?
Dig deep and really ask yourself: what do I want to accomplish this quarter, this year, and in this lifetime? What impact to I want to see as a result of my efforts?
Create a strategic plan around your bucket list. Whether it’s running a marathon, traveling abroad, or simply spending more quality time with your family… write it down, map it out, plan it, and execute. Having a plan helps point yourself in the right direction. It also helps to keep non-valuable activities from creeping in and leading you astray. The most successful and happy people know where they are going and easily avoid distractions.
As you can probably tell through our name, we are all about energy here at Energize Leadership. We believe that in order to show up as your best self, you have to first take care of your own self. Yes, you guessed it: this means getting enough sleep, taking your vitamins, eating your greens, activity, saunas- all of that good stuff that we’ve been hearing about for ages.
When you take the time to recharge, you are less likely to lose your patience, fight with your partner, or fall asleep during movie night, making moments and experiences with them that much more positive and special.Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes… including you. Click To Tweet
4. Stay in touch with your emotions
Life is a rollercoaster ride. Sometimes we’re stressed, sometimes we’re buried in work, and other times we have a stomach ache from laughing so hard. These “high” and “low” experiences all impact on our brain in ways that take us out of the driver seat, which is why it’s important to stay in touch with our emotions.
Understanding the triggers that cause our brain to light up with alarm allow us to use our logical brain to calm ourselves down and deal rationally with the situation, making interactions with others far more pleasant.
Here are three ways to stay in touch with your emotions:
5. Communicate effectively
Mastering communication (when, what, and how), with compelling speaking skills and clear direction is essential for creating and maintaining healthy, long-lasting relationships. Communication is key in all areas of your life, not just at work.
Are you clear about your needs? What about other people’s’ needs – are you doing your best to fulfill those? If not, are you talking about it?
6. Seek growth
At work, we’re always expected to grow and improve at our job. Whether that entails training, coaching, assessments, or evaluations, we rarely stay stagnant due to the competitive climate in the workforce.
Well, guess what: there’s also room for improvement back at home.
Here’s a tip: start off by taking the a page out of the business handbook and request an informal evaluation from important people in your life.
When you listen and seek understanding, you are able to gain a common understanding of BOTH their experience as well as your intention. This allows you to move effectively toward connection, positive relationships, and effectively achieving goals.
Here are a few questions to ask to receive helpful insights on what others need so you can determine how to close the gap and master relationships:
7: Manage your time wisely
Leaders are often managing time to the T. Every second is viewed as an opportunity to make more money, sign more contracts, and get more things done.
Life at home should be treated the same way. Every second is an opportunity to do what makes your heart sing and bond with those you love. Don’t waste it on meaningless chatter, irrelevant noise, or bad tv!
Schedule things that happen with frequency. Most of us are good about scheduling out our hair appointments, sometimes even our workouts. Consider establishing a regular frequency for car washes, dry cleaning, manicures, spa treatments, chiropractic, etc. It is so easy to let some of those things slip by as less important than all the other stuff. Those things need to be scheduled in order to get done with regularity. If you want to feel like your life is in order, you have to put it into order first! Prioritize your life.“Time. The problem is we think we have time” Click To Tweet
8. Look for the best in others
Our culture can often predispose us toward cynicism. We seem to focus on finding reasons not to like people instead of reasons to like them. Remind yourself often that everyone is trying their best and they almost never are actually out to get you! Shut that cynical voice off, and concentrate on looking for the good in a new acquaintance. For one thing, that keeps you from writing someone off too soon, but more importantly, when you expect the best from people, they’re likely to deliver it.
If you want positive outcomes, you must attract positive energy. What better way to achieve that than through celebration?
At work, employees often get rewarded for certain wins, like completing a goal or winning a project. Financial indicators are an easy crutch for dictating when to celebrate, but the fact of the matter is that everyone is working hard all of the time. We should be celebrating and feeling good about our efforts with frequency. How can you acknowledge each other’s work more frequently? Find ways to call out positive experiences daily and build in time for celebration and connection on a monthly and quarterly basis.
Consider celebrating small wins back at home, too. Saving for a vacation, celebrating a soccer team win, getting the laundry completed – those are all things worth rewarding. Life is a lot of work. It is easy to get bogged down and drained. Build in time for things that feel like rewards. Don’t fall victim to the “keep it going” mentality – bring your neighbors some impromptu cupcakes (or wine) and hang out. Watch an old episode of Friends while folding laundry. Grab ice cream together after the kid’s piano recital. Or hire someone to do more of the housework so you can spend more time together.
10. Be present
The best piece of advice is to be present in everything we do – at work, at home, and everywhere else.
It’s easy to think about the years ahead. Maybe you are sending your kids off to college soon, or you’re hoping to buy a bigger, better house in the future. Maybe your parents are getting older and you’re worried about living too far away from them.
Whatever your future plans or worries are, it is most important to focus on the right here and now. Make the most of each day while keeping one eye focused on the future. Seize little moments. Recognize where you’re falling short. Make changes frequently. When you outgrow something, move on and let go. Pay attention, life goes fast. Are you in charge of life, or is life in charge of you?
Don’t forget to check out our new podcast The Everyday Leader where we talk with folks just like you who take the bull by the horns and lead the heck out of their everyday life. These interviews are chock full of insights and examples where others are getting it right…and sometime, where they are getting it wrong. Life is a challenge and a gift. We’re all in it together – so let’s make the most of it!